Rocket Man

14 10 2007

The fellows with Stinson, Morrison, Hecker, LLP were kind enough to share with us their suite for the grand opening of the Sprint Auditorium in Kansas City last night. That meant rock star parking in the garage across the street from the auditorium, an excellent meal, fascinating company, VIP treatment, and…Elton John.

Honestly, I was only lukewarm about seeing an aging pop star do his thing in a huge auditorium, but I’m plenty thrilled to see a little life coming back to downtown Kansas City, and the Sprint Center is certainly interesting to see from the outside. So, on with the evening attire and my “flight attendant face” for an evening with a much older, jowly (is that a word?) Elton John and several thousand gray haired fans.

The great news is that the old, fat brit can still play a mean honky-tonk piano. He kept the three-legged beast skittering around the stage for almost two and a half hours, getting up only for a drink of water or to stretch his legs now and then, with just one short break, followed by a generous round of autograph signing from the stage and then a renewed round of rocking the house.

I don’t own an Elton John CD and I had forgotten all about him for the most part, but he launched the evening with “Love Lies Bleeding” followed by “Bitch”, which was enough to remind me of my brother’s 1974 Greatest Hits LP, the one with Elton on the front in a white suit, pimp hat and huge white glasses. I must have listened to that album a few hundred times in my preteens and if memory serves, there is a photo of Elton with Bernie Taupin on the inside cover. I guess you never forget the really important things.

Anyway, the man still loves his songs and seemed pleased as punch to be cranking out all the old hits, which he must have performed thousands of times by now, but still with all his energy and wit. Though he played mostly the 70’s hits, he threw in a couple of new ones and successfully reminded everyone why we shelled out our teenage cash for those 45s and albums. When he played “Philadelphia Freedom” I could picture in my mind the 45 with its red plastic adapter insert, and which surely accounted for some portion of my mother’s crankiness.

So, thanks Rocket Man, for a fantastic evening, all the weird memories included and to our friends at the law firm who were willing to share the opportunity. Now if they would just bring in Parliament – remember that fabulous Parliament Live funk?

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